Characteristics Influencing the Visual Analysis of Single-Subject Data: An Empirical Analysis

Gwyneth Gibson, Kenneth Ottenbacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


A study explored various graphic characteristics associated with the visual analysis of single-subject data. A sample of 20 rehabilitation therapists used visual analysis to rate 24 graphs of data sets using a traditional baseline/treatment (AB) format. Using the intraclass correlation approach, the authors assessed the interrater reliability and found that it ranged from 0.52 to 0.66 for each graph. Data analysis revealed that the graphic characteristics of level and mean shift were associated with consistent judgments across the raters, and that changes in slope across the two phases of a graph were associated with substantial rater disagreement. The authors discuss the implications of using visual and statistical procedures to analyze single-subject data, and argue that quantitative adjuncts to visual analysis may facilitate the reliable interpretation of graphed data for a single subject.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-314
Number of pages17
JournalThe Journal of Applied Behavioral Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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